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    Dickens’ use of language and he wider historical context Essay

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    His eyes are barely distinguishable the only thing that brings life about them is his eyelashes and on top of that he also gives the right answer to Gradgrind which seems to be scientific facts on what a horse really is. This would tell me that Bitzer doesn’t get out much and most probably spends the majority of his time with his head in books researching the facts that Choakumchild and Gradgrind pump into him every day. I have a better reaction to Sissy than to Bitzer. I don’t really like either of them but Sissy seems more interesting.

    Gradgrind gives a better reception to Bitzer than he does to Sissy. The first thing that ticks him off about Sissy is her name and the reason he acts more politely towards Bitzer is because he gets the answer right and he likes the way he answers it. The reason Sissy’s answer is would have been wrong, if she had answered, is because Gradgrind thinks that living in a rationalistic society where facts are all that mattered that would have been considered politically wrong. She seems to get out more and have a life outside of school. Where as Bitzer’s life is school.

    He seems like a condescending boy who likes to be on the teachers’ good side, and knows everything there is to know. I prefer Sissy because she’s uninterested in school but not the type of pupil who hangs onto to every word but I don’t like her because of her density she doesn’t give the impression that she’s the sharpest knife in the box. She may answer the question but it’s not the right answer which makes her seem not at all clever. To give these results Dickens used different ways of narrative and speech to describe these characters and express the way they act around other characters of the story.

    He also uses them to express his own views and opinions. Dickens uses quite a lot of speech in the opening chapters so there isn’t much narrative there. The first chapter starts out with speech from Mr Gradgrind, “facts, facts, facts”. In this monotonous tone he repeated the words facts many times. This puts the emphasis on these facts making it the most important thing throughout the opening chapters. The monologue which is also droning isn’t very interesting. “Facts alone are wanted in life.

    Plant nothing else, and root out everything else”, once again he is talking about facts which are not in the least bit attention-grabbing. There is no interaction at all and no one else’s opinions are given which would seem like no one thinks for them self. This could be because everything is done and is from Gradgrind’s point of view. “Thomas Gradgrind now presented Thomas Gradgrind to the little pitchers before him, who were to be filled with facts”. This way we only get one opinion which is not really fair on the reader because they don’t get to see what other characters are thinking.

    Dickens has done this maybe to show how the people of that time felt about the changes that were going on around them that they were opposed to. The narration is very different to the text it is more descriptive than anything else. In such terms Mr Gradgrind always mentally introduced himself, whether to his private circle of acquaintance, or to the public in general. In such terms, no doubt, substituting the words ‘boys and girls’ for ‘sir’, Thomas Gradgrind now presented Thomas Gradgrind to the little pitchers before him, who were to be filled with facts.

    This is certain piece of text is telling us about Mr Gradgrind and most of the narrative is the same. Describing, children, characters the setting and types of situation. The narrative gives a more in depth look at what is going on and tells us more about the characters through the ways the interact with others. In conclusion I think Dickens has expressed his view on how education was in a rationalistic society very strongly. It seems to be a very strict and fact orientated education system which is thought best for the children though they may find it quite confusing.

    There is no room for error, misinterpretation, or personal opinions. There is only room for facts which is what everything in life is about. And facts are what justify the way things are. Dickens strongly disagrees with this system with he shows through the first couple of chapters of the book. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Hard Times section.

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